Ottawa vs Toronto – Which City Is Better for a Sustainable Family Lifestyle

Fortunately, more and more people nowadays understand the importance of sustainable living. We know that if we don’t change our behavior, our children and our planet will suffer the consequences. But, we are not the only ones that have to change – our whole families must do the same if we all want to make a difference. But, you probably know that – that is why you are here reading this article. What you don’t know is which city is better for a sustainable family lifestyle – Ottawa or Toronto? The answer to this question depends on the type of sustainability method you are looking to try. For instance, some families want to try adding solar panels to their roofs, some want to try composting, and some want to preserve water. Thus, today, we will talk about specific sustainability methods and in which city they are easier to achieve.

Best City for Making Your Food Sustainable 

If you want to be sustainable, you must start with your food. You can do many things to be healthy and make our planet healthy, starting with food. For instance, you can try to shop locally as much as possible. Then, you can learn how to prevent food waste. And, if there is waste, you can learn how to compost. However, the thing that can work best for your sustainable family lifestyle is eating less dairy and meat and trying to grow your fruits and vegetables. For the second part, you will need a house with a slightly bigger yard. 

So, which city is better for a sustainable family lifestyle? That is, which city is better for buying a house with a yard in which you can make your food sustainable – Ottawa or Toronto? Definitely Ottawa! In Ottawa, you can buy a family home with a yard for approximately $818,000. And, if you are not afraid of buying an older home and spending the upcoming summer doing popular home renovation projects, you can buy a home for less than $700,000. In Toronto, on the other hand, you can expect to pay no less than $1,565,000 for the same house. 

Walk Instead of Driving 

Our cars produce a crazy amount of nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, and other harmful substances that contribute to air pollution. So, one of the ways to live more sustainably is to walk instead of driving. But, in cities as big as Toronto and Ottawa, that will not be easy. In Toronto especially, you need a car to get anywhere! 

However, Toronto has found a way to support this sustainability method by promoting carpools for children and adults, investing in good roads and transportation systems, and, most importantly, by creating cycling lanes and offering free (or relatively cheap) bikes to everybody. So, if this is something you were looking for you and your family, consider moving from Ottawa to Toronto or from any other place to Toronto. And, if you want to make your move sustainable too, professional movers can make the process simple and quick. They will use recyclable materials and transport everything in one go (thus, reducing the air pollution).

Embrace Reusable Things 

When people think about going green and becoming more sustainable, the first thing that comes to their minds are water and energy-saving tips they get from environmentalists all the time. Yes, those are great! But, they can also be costly and difficult to maintain. 

You don’t have to start your sustainable journey with something like that. Instead, start small. For instance, start buying reusable and recyclable things – things like shopping bags made of recycled fabric, refillable water bottles, reusable coffee cups, etc. And, if it is not too extreme, you and your family can start buying second-hand clothes, refilling shampoos, or even refilling olive oil. Do whatever you can to avoid plastic disposable and single-use products. Those products kill our planet. 

Toronto, again, is a city that can be more beneficial for you and your family if you want to start embracing reusable things. Compared to Ottawa, Toronto has a lot more second-hand stores and stores that focus on avoiding plastics and refilling all sorts of products into reusable packaging. 

Recycle and Buy Recycled 

Without a doubt, the best way to live a sustainable lifestyle is to recycle. You start by asking the city to provide you with your free recycling bins for plastic, paper, glass, and aluminum. The good news is that both Ottawa and Toronto have these options, just like they have tons of recycling bins throughout each neighborhood. So, if you and your family like to recycle, both of these two cities will treat you well. 

Moreover, don’t just recycle. As mentioned above, buying recyclable items is also a great way to fight off mass production, save the planet from plastics, and live more sustainably. Anything you buy from somebody else is recycled – clothes, shoes, furniture, even a house. 

And, if you buy things, be sure that they are made out of recyclable materials! For instance, if you plan on moving either to Ottawa or Toronto and if you hire professionals, professionals from centennialmoving.ca advise that you be sure to choose cardboard boxes and packing paper instead of plastic bins and plastic wraps.

Switch to Renewable Energy 

If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, save the planet for future generations, and save some money, the best thing you can do is switch to renewable energy and get your LEED certification. The most obvious way to do this is to install solar panels on your roof. However, that is also the most expensive way. So, if your budget does not allow this, consider joining a community solar farm, buying renewable energy credits, or just purchasing green power from your retailer. You can do all of this in both Ottawa and Toronto, but it is in Toronto where you can get more incentives. 


As you have seen, there are many things you can do to have a sustainable family lifestyle. But, to answer your question of which city is better for a sustainable family lifestyle, we have to say Toronto. Toronto simply checks all the major sustainability boxes. Thus, if sustainability is your primary goal, moving to Toronto may be your best choice.